Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

2010: Patmos to Leros

This web page contains the logs of the second leg a singlehanded sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the Aegean Sea in Greece from Samos (Samos Marina) to the Agmar Marine Shipyard in Partheni, Leros where she was hauled out for the winter. This leg covers a period of 14 days and it originates in Patmos (Livadhi tou Geranou, Panayia tou Geranou, Skala, Alikí, Petra, Agrio Livadhi). Along the way we stopped in: Lipsi (Moschato), and Leros (Alindas, Archangelos, Partheni). The logs include some photographs and descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.

Route to Leros
Route from Patmos to Leros

Sunday October 10, 2010, Day 12

It was a fairly calm but cold morning in Livadhi tou Geranou. There is a good 3G signal here and I checked the forecasts. They predict low, force 3-4 NW, winds from today through Tuesday after which the winds become southerly increasing in strength and reaching force 7 by Wednesday. I plan to stay on this side of the island today and then go to Skala tomorrow to get fuel and provisions. Then, on Tuesday move to Moschato in Lipsi which is totally protected from the southerlies. Taking advantage of the good signal I also spoke, via Skype, to my daughter Cynthia and grandson Alexander in Brisbane, Australia.

Panayia tou Geranou
Panayia tou Geranou

At 1320 I raised the anchor and slowly motored around the islet Kendronisi (Κεντρονήσι) to the next cove just E of Livahdi tou Geranou, just 1 nM away. On the way I ran the water-maker. At 1340 we arrived in the cove which I believe is called Panayia tou Geranou (Παναγία του Γερανού) [37° 20.4' N 26° 35.9' E]. I anchored in 6.5 m depth and as the cove has a steep slope I let out 40 m of chain. Thetis settled in about 9 m depth.

It was very calm here and by that time the wind was only 4 knots from variable directions, but predominately from the E. I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was nicely set in the sand. The water temperature was 24°C (75.2°F), same as the ambient. I enjoyed my swim.

In the late afternoon I went ashore and following a footpath climbed to the Panayia tou Geranou chapel and then from there I followed the road for some distance. Returning to Thetis I had an ouzo while watching the lovely sunset. I then ran the genset for an hour to replenish the batteries. For dinner I made an omelet with the left over spaghetti with meat sauce. This was accompanied with a salad and with Kyria Katina’s homemade bread.

The Cove of Panayia tou Geranou
The Cove of Panayia tou Geranou

Monday October 11, 2010, Day 13

The night was very calm except that in the early morning hours there was some wind and the wind-generator woke me up. Seeing that all was well I went back to sleep.

After I woke up normally and had my coffee I worked with the computer. The forecasts have not changed: calm, NW winds, today but starting tomorrow afternoon the SE wind will come and increase to force 7 by Wednesday. My plan is to go today to Skala, Patmos’ port, where I will get fuel and provision. Then, tomorrow morning, go to either Stavros Bay on the SW side of Patmos or to Moschato on the N side of Lipsi.

I raised the outboard and anchor after which I departed at 1040. We motored slowly the 2.8 nM to Skala while running the water-maker. We arrived in Skala (Σκάλα) [37° 19.7' N 26° 32.6' E] at 1120. I anchored in 5 m depth and backed up to the quay while adjusting the chain by means of the second windlass control from the cockpit. I had already prepared the fenders and stern lines. Luckily two gentlemen from another S/Y came and caught the stern lines. It was a very easy docking.

After I deployed the passarella I called the numbers (+30 22470 31 177, 6977 342 155) posted on the quay for a Diesel fuel delivery but they were out of fuel. There is another fuel station, ARGO, not far from the power plant. I walked there and arranged for a delivery at about 1:30. Their telephone is: +30 22470 31 999.

I then walked and did some shopping mainly fruits and flash light batteries. I also gave all my dirty clothes to the laundry for washing. They should be ready before 6 PM.

The few other S/Ys here left and a new one arrived. She had no flag but is the Kerim, then a charter boat with Scandinavians arrived. This one almost collided with Thetis. I helped both of these S/Ys with their stern lines. Later 3 more S/Ys came two of them chartered catamarans.

The fuel truck eventually did come, not on 1:30 as promised but on 2:10. I filled the tank and one jerry can, altogether with 57 L (80€). I also bought 3 L of gasoline for the outboard.

In the late afternoon I walked to the new AB supermarket and bought some meat and few other provisions.

I finally met the couple from the S/Y Kerim. They are Israeli and will also be going next week the Partheni Shipyard for their winter haul-out.

For dinner I went to the Mermaids (Γοργόνες) restaurant (tel. +30 22470 32055). There I had calamari and 3 small μπαρμούνια (barbounia - red mullets - Mullus surmuletus), and a salad. Next to me came a large group of people. It turned out that they were from one of the chartered catamarans. They were 2 Australians, 3 New Zealanders, and 2 Italians. The owner of the restaurant is Ήσυχος Θεολόγος (Isichos Theologos - Quiet Theologian)! I am not sure which is his first name and which is his surname because in Patmos Θεολόγος (Theologian) is a very popular first name.

Tuesday October 12, 2010, Day 14

The S wind came, not very strong yet just 8-12 knots but it has raised considerable swell in the harbor. This woke me up at 2 AM, but after I made sure that everything was alright I went back to sleep. But by 5 AM I was up and waiting for daylight to depart. While waiting I checked the weather on the Internet. No change in the forecasts. It will be cloudy today and maybe tomorrow but not too cold. The wind will be strong, possibly up to force 7, and from the SE.

I took down the tent which I had put up yesterday and left overnight. Since there were no other boats adjacent to Thetis I removed and stowed the fenders. Then I took ashore the trash and rearranged the stern lines removing the two with the metal springs and doubling the other two. I then took in the passarella and secured it. Finally at 0820 I started raising the anchor.

The Bay of Stavros
The Bay of Stavros

The wind was not too strong, just 10-18 knots ESE but the waves were steep and irregular causing a bumpy ride. We motored south and, after rounding Cape Elias, headed NW and finally entered the Bay of Stavros. I anchored in Alikí (Αλυκή - salt pan) [37° 17.4' N 26° 33.3' E] at 1005 after 7.2 nM. I dropped the anchor on a patch of sand in 5.7 m depth and let out 45 m of chain. Thetis settled in 10 m depth.

It was very calm here and less windy (4-12 knots) but the sky was overcast and it drizzled every so often. I decided that while conditions here were still benign to deploy the 2nd anchor. But before doing so I snorkeled and made sure that the primary anchor was well set in the sand. I then took in the dinghy the second anchor with its 20 m of chain and about 80 m of line and dropped it. I then puled its line from Thetis’ bow, about 30 m, and let it settle. I snorkeled and looked at the second anchor. It was set in light weed. After that, I slowly paid of about 10 m of its line and balanced the two anchors.

Later I took the dinghy and visited the Patmos Shipyard. I asked the office what will be the cost for a haul-out and storage for a boat the size of Thetis. It will cost €300 for the haul-out/in and €115/month. Their facilities are, compared to Agmar, primitive–they have no travel-lift or extensive machine shops. They do have an attractive café/restaurant where I had a cup of coffee.

Back on board I finished reading Dracula, continued with the very long Don Quixote De La Mancha, and started Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Pirates of the Levant.

For dinner I cooked two chicken thighs that I had bought yesterday in Skala. First, I browned them with a little olive oil, then I added some wine and commercial tomato pulp. To this I added a fresh tomato cut into cubes, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and some thyme. I cooked them in very low heat for about 1½ hour. It was delicious and half of it I saved for another meal.

The night was fairly calm and I went to bed early as I was tired.

Aliki, Patmos
Alikí

Wednesday October 13, 2010, Day 15

The expected strong wind came around 5 AM but Thetis was secure with her two anchors. After checking everything I went back to sleep.

In the morning I found the following msg that had been received by the Navtex:

Chora Patmos

Chora & the Monastery

Chora Patmos

A Street in Chora

The Monastery

The Monastery

Skala

Skala from Chora

121315 UTC OCT 10
IRAKLEIO RADIO NAVRARN 488/10
SAMOS SEA
S/Y 'PANTA RHEI 7' SUNK IN PSN:
37-15,2N 026-46,8E
BETWEEN LEROS AND LIPSI ISLAND
SHIPS IN VICINITY REQUESTED TO KEEP
A SHARP LOOKOUT AT THE AREA
REPORTING TO JRCC PIRAEUS
FOR WRECK FOUNDINGS

The Bay of Stavros
The Bay of Stavros

I think that I had seen this boat in Samos. I sent an e-mail to Stamatis Skoutas in Samos asking if he knows anything about this. He later replied that he did not.

I snorkeled and checked the anchors. They had not moved. I then took a 3½ hour walk to Chora and back taking several pictures on the way.

In the afternoon the wind veered to the S and Thetis was now floating in 6-7 m depth. Later there was some drizzle. I could not make a lot of sense from the forecasts. They now called for force 5 SE wind for today and tomorrow and then it will veer to the SW at force 4 in the early Friday hours.

I read a lot. For dinner I cooked a pot roast that I had bought in Skala. I cooked it in a lemon sauce using the last of the lemons that I had brought from Kalami. This I served with rice. There is plenty of it left over.

During the night the wind was down.

Thursday October 14, 2010, Day 16

The usual 5 AM wind did not materialize and it was fairly calm in the bay. In the later morning the wind was 10-15 knots and had again veered SE and it rained. The barometer was down to 1003 mB from the 1008 of 8 hours ago. The forecasts are still confusing. Will the wind veer SW or will it not?

Around 11 AM a thunderstorm hit us with lots of thunder and rain but it was very beautiful in a dramatic sort of way.

In the early afternoon I looked up again the forecasts on the Internet. Now they definitely predict the wind to veer from force 4-5 SE to 5-6 SW by 3 AM. I do not like this. In the mean time the barometer has fallen further to 1000 mB. If the SW wind does arrive during the night and I have to leave this bay how will I manage to lift both anchors all by myself in the dark?

I decided to depart now while things were easy and go to Ormos Petra (Πέτρα) which is south of Grikos (Γροίκος) and north of Diakoftis (Διακόφτης) and is somewhat sheltered from the S and SE by the small island of Tragonisi (Τραγονήσι). If that does not seem safe to me when I get there then I will push on for Moschato to the north of Lipsi. I started preparing for departure around 2:15 PM.

First, I removed the outboard and paid out 20 m more of the primary anchor’s chain. I removed the chain from the windlass’ capstan and secured it with the snub line and started pulling in the rope line of the 2nd anchor with the windlass’ drum. When all the rope line was in I transferred its chain to the capstan and raised the anchor. I then removed the chain from the 2nd anchor and carried it to the sail locker and placed the anchor on its support at the stern. After that it was the turn of the primary. I raised it in the normal way. Finally the anchor was up and Thetis underway by 1500.

Petra, Patmos
Petra

As we were leaving the Bay of Stavros, or more precisely Alikes (Αλυκές) a S/Y with a Turkish flag entered the bay. Outside the bay the waves were very large and the wind strong with fierce SE gusts form 15 to 45 knots. Despite running the engine at fairly high RPM we seldom exceeded 3 knots against the combined wind and waves. It was a most uncomfortable ride. After rounding Cape Vitsilia I had to substantially reduce the RPM but nevertheless we were almost surfing at over 6 knots. When we entered the Diakoftis cove and were S of the small island of Tragonisi the sea was relatively calm. Relatively is the key word here because there was a lot of swell. Petra (Πέτρα) was indeed the most sheltered area but several problems were presented against anchoring. If I were to anchor and to ensure clearing the shore for either the SE wind (now) or the SW (expected) I had to anchor in at least 14 m depth and use about 60 m scope for the anchor in order to hold the boat securely in this strong wind. Now, because of the swell the bottom was not visible so I could not find a place without weeds. Further, a lot of scope would not allow Thetis to stay clear of several boats here on permanent moorings. Now, as there were 7 free but presumably private moorings I decided to catch one of them and hope that its owner does not appear during the night.

It took 3 attempts before I caught the mooring. The time was 1640 and we had come just 6 nM from Alikes (Αλυκές). Our position was [37° 17.9' N 26° 33.7' E]. We were safe but rolling. The wind was seldom under 20 knots and most of the time over 27 knots.

I spoke with my brother Nikos on the GSM phone and sent an e-mail to my wife Alice. I was tired, too tired to prepare dinner. I took a very welcomed hot shower and then went ashore with the dinghy to Grikos (Γροίκος) at the only open taverna where I had a rather indifferent meal. The wind was howling and it was a rough during my slow return to Thetis. By 10 PM the wind was somewhat less and I went to bed.

Friday October 15, 2010, Day 17

In the early morning hours the wind, as forecasted, veered to the SSW. I was glad to be here well protected from the SW. The morning was calm and there was hardly any wind. The forecasts call for SW wind of force 5 later going down to 3-4 and for possible rain in the afternoon. These conditions are predicted to last through Sunday. But by Monday we will be back to SE winds reaching force 7.

My plan was to go today to Agrio Livatdhi and stay there until Sunday and them move to Moschato in Lipsi.

Thetis departed Petra at 1025. The wind was light, 8-14 knots, from the SW but the swell was still from the SE. We motored the 3.1 nM to Agrio Livadhi (Άγριο Λιβάδι) [37° 20.5' N 26° 33.5' E] while running the water-maker. We arrived at 1100 and anchored in 7 m depth letting out 50 m of chain, hopefully allowing enough swinging room to accommodate wind variations. It was calm here with only a small residual swell. Soon another boat arrived the S/Y Dionysos with a French flag.

In the late afternoon I took a walk after which I had an ouzo during the sunset. For dinner I had the rest of the left-over chicken and potatoes. It was very tasty, much better than the chicken you get in most tavernas. After dinner I spent at least 2 hours in the cockpit watching the reflections of the half moon and the stars and listening to music. It was much warmer then last night. It was so calm! What a difference 24 hours can make! Gone was the fury of last night and it was replaced by tranquility. The sea is endless: frightening and beguiling but she is never, never boring and dull.

The barometer was up to 1005 mB and there was no wind.

Saturday October 16, 2010, Day 18

The forecasts this morning are the same as yesterday’s: light SSW wind for today and tomorrow, some possibility of rain, and by early Monday strong SE winds, possibly force 7, and maybe thunderstorms. Here this morning are scattered clouds and it is sunny.

I took the dinghy to Meloi (Μελόϊ), the cove S of Agrio Livadhi, about 20 minutes. I then walked about 30 minutes to Skala where I bought some fruits and fresh bread. A youth had left his car in front of a store with its engine running and its radio blasting: “thumb di thumb” and blocking the street. As I walking by he came out of the store. I could not resist and asked him if he was having car troubles with his engine making such a noise. The look on his face was precious.

Sunset in Agrio Livadhi
Sunset in Agrio Livadhi

There was some light wind from the SW with a swell from the S. I swam in the afternoon. The water was still murky but less than yesterday. It was a lazy kind of day.

The evening was lovely and the sunset gorgeous. However, I feel an expectancy in the air, a feeling that bad weather is coming. It is good to be afraid of physical causes like storms and natural things rather then our modern fears of anthropogenic causes like crime, bad economies, etc. Cruising brings you close to these fears of nature and this is healthy.

For dinner I boiled some tagliatelle and had them with a few pieces of the pot-roast. I would had been happy to go and eat at the Glaros taverna but, even this evening a Saturday it was shut.

A bulldozer made it slowly down the steep road and for about 2 hours, under flood lights, was noisily digging. I am sure that this was an illegal operation. What, working on a Saturday night?

There were a lot of distant lightning flashes. Here it was calm, but…

Sunday October 17, 2010, Day 19

I learned from the news that yesterday there was a deluge in Samos and the town of Vathy was flooded. For a few hours no cars could cross the main road. The forecasts however are the same. I decided to relocate to Moschato, Lipsi.

Moschato
S/Y Dionysos in Moschato, Lipsi

Departed Agrio Livadhi at 0940 and motor-sailed with the headsail to the N side of the island of Lipsi. I had to ran the engine to recharge the batteries and, since I was under power, I also ran the water-maker and refilled several empty bottles and replenished the water tanks. The wind was from the SSW 10-16 knots and there was some chop. We arrived in Moschato [37° 19.1' N 26° 43.5' E] at 1110 after 7.7 nM. It was very calm here. I anchored in the middle inlet in 4 m depth over sand and let out 35 m of chain. I then took a line from the stern and secured it to a rock on the S shore by means of a chain loop and a stainless steel shock absorber since for today we were still expecting light SW winds thusly preventing Thetis from drifting to the N shore. I was planing to also to take another line to the N shore in preparation for tomorrow’s expected strong SE winds. But, in the mean time the S/Y Dionysos had arrived and anchored in shallower water in front of Thetis. I will have to check with them before setting the N line and trap them in.

The barometer had risen and was now up to 1010 mB. I went over with the dinghy to Dionysos and met her crew. They are a French couple Havre and Claude Valentin. They asked me to stay and have an ouzo with them, although it was early afternoon. No, they are not about to depart, they too are planning to wait out the SE gale here so my line will not be any problem for them. He is a retired financier and a very experienced sailor having crossed the Atlantic and sailed in the Indian Ocean. They are both very personable. I too invited them to come to Thetis in the evening for another ouzo.

We had a pleasant evening. After the Valentins left I made a cheese omelet because I was not very hungry.

The night was quiet.

Monday October 18, 2010, Day 20

The North Inlet in Moschato
The North Inlet in Moschato

l adjusted the shore lines so as to minimize windage. at the forecast now call for force 8 SE strong winds, especially for tonight.

Together with the Dionysos crew we took the dinghy to the next inlet E of us and took a walk to Platys Yialos. Unfortunately we were caught in a rather strong rain. During this walk I learned from Herve that the S/Y Panta Rei had caught fire somewhere between Lipsi and Leros and was a total loss but her crew was rescued. I also learned from a local fisherman that the new but unused building in our inlet is indeed abandoned. It was built by the fish farm company now defunct. The fish farm has not been operating now for several years. This explains why the water is so clear.

I was invited to Dionysos for lunch. In the afternoon it rain again, heavily. It is good to have company here and in this bleak day. The Internet connection works here, the signal is mostly 2G but occasionally you get a weak 3G, however the GSM telephone is mostly out.

Mooring arrangement

I rearranged the shore lines and made a sling on the west side so that the bow will be facing more towards the SE wind. All was well despite the strong wind and ferocious gusts.

In the evening Havre and Claude came from Dionysos to Thetis for an ouzo. We had a pleasant time inside the cabin since it was too windy outside. I ferried them with my dinghy since they had not lowered their outboard to theirs.

After I took them back I settled inside the cabin to read and to have later a light supper. But, it was not to be. All of a sudden something felt wrong. I went outside and I saw that Thetis was uncomfortably close to the north shore and the rocks. The whole elaborate sling, which was totally taught before, was now hanging loose. I puled the south bow line and it kept coming without any resistance. By that time we were in danger from the the rocks. I frantically started the engine, put it into gear and untied the lashed tiller. I then pulled the stern side off the sling. It was loose and I pulled several meters and then it stuck. I quickly remembered that the propeller was turning. The loose line must have been fouled in the propeller. Just to confirm this the engine stalled. I puled the line but nothing going. I put the engine in neutral, restarted it, and engaged in reverse while pulling the line. To my great relief it now came free. I pulled part of it since the rest was cut. I ran to the bow and pulled the other end. I pulled and pulled all 60 m of it. This end was also cut. The end of the shore line that I had placed yesterday was attached to a stainless steel shock absorber which in turn was attached to a chain draped around a rock. Now all I got was the cut line. I ran back to the stern, engaged the engine to slow forward and steered the boat once again away from the rocks. I contemplated my situation. We were not in danger but it was dicey. I could keep the engine at low RPM and stay away from the rocks on the northern shore maneuvering in a short radius since there was the bow line to the north and the anchor to the southeast. However, to stabilize the boat I needed a line back to the south shore. I found the air-horn and made couple of blasts and then called at Dionysos “Help”! Sure enough Herve appeared and waved to me that he understood. Of course, he had to lower his outboard to this dinghy before coming since rowing in that wind was out of the question. Still maneuvering I easily kept Thetis away for the rocks. A second pair of hands, and experienced hands at that, were on their way. Herve has crossed the Atlantic and had been cruising with Dionysos for 18 years so he is no slouch. Finally he came and immediately understood the situation. He asked me what I wanted to do. I said that what seemed to me the easiest was for him to take my 60 m line and attach it to Dionysos. Now yesterday while snorkeling Herve had found underwater a very large chain attached on the one end of a concrete foundation on the south shore rocks and its other end to a thick hawser (very thick rope). He fished the hawser and I helped him tie it to Dionysos’ bow. So, the extra pull from Thetis would be no problem. Herve coiled my line inside Thetis’ stronger dinghy and after attaching it to Thetis’ bow and after what seemed were ages he started the outboard and took the other end to Dionysos’ stern. He called. I maneuvered Thetis to the south and with the engine still engaged but with very low RPM I ran to the bow and took the slack until the line between the two boats was taut. I then put the engine into neutral and adjusted both bow lines, one to the N shore and the other to Dionysos on the SE, until they were balanced. The night adventure was over! Thank you Herve. It was a close call.

Attached to Dionysos

Now it is 11:30 and at least 3 hours have passed since the episode but I am still too nervous to go sleep. The wind is howling, Thetis is shaking, distant lightning from the north is illuminating the sea and rocks. A terrible night at sea. Is it over? Are we safe? It is at least 7½ hours to daylight. Will these infernal gusts ever stop? If another line brakes what am I to do?

Tuesday October 19, 2010, Day 21

I hardly slept all night. I dozed on the main cabin’s couch but I constantly kept getting up to check the depth, wind, heading, the lines, and the anchor. Fortunately, despite the ferocious gusts Thetis did not move.

In the early morning the wind lessened. The forecasts call for low wind during today and possible force 5 SW winds for tomorrow. Nevertheless I do not want to move until the sea calms down.

Later the wind died down to a light N breeze and Thetis was now held only by the anchor, both bow lines were slack. Yiorgos, our care taker in Kalami, called. They had torrential rains in Samos with flooding. In Ikaria and Chios things were even worse. Two people were killed last night.

The day here was very quiet. I found the chain still attached to the rock on the south shore where I had placed it. The stainless steel shock absorber however was broken and the attached line was cut not too far from the absorber. I guess that at some time during a gust, the line went slack and it sunk snagging on a sharp rock where it was cut. Maybe I should use a longer chain in the future. I also snorkeled and checked the propeller. There was no problem there.

Sunset in Moschato
Sunset in Moschato

We were treated to a gorgeous sunset. The sea was very calm and there was no wind. It is hard to believe that this is same sea that was frothing just 24 hours ago.

I had invited the Dionysos crew for dinner. I served pot roast with rice and Kalami wine. They liked and praised the wine which is nice to hear from French people, but then again maybe they were just being polite. The main dish was followed by grapes and blue cheese.

Havre and Claude Valentin
Havre and Claude Valentin of S/Y Dionysos

Wednesday October 20, 2010, Day 22

I was sleeping soundly until the sound of the depth alarm woke me up. The wind had increased and was now coming from the W at 8-12 knots. This caused Thetis to drift close to the east shore at 3 m depth (she draws 1.65). I started the engine and after checking that no lines were anywhere near the propeller I engaged the engine forward. Then I adjusted the bow line whose other end was attached to Dionysos until we were comfortable in 3.4 m depth. The time was 5:30 AM, too late to go back to sleep so I made my coffee. I could see distant lightning.

The forecasts have not changed. They call for force 5 SW winds for this morning and afternoon then 3-4 for tonight and weak SW winds for tomorrow and then increasing to 4-5 by Saturday. Here there was a heavy rain in the morning and a not too distant thunderstorm.

I prepared to depart. I lifted the outboard, untied the N shore line, coiled it and stowed it, then the line from Dionysos–they were still asleep–coiled and stowed it also. When all was ready I raised the anchor and departed at 0910.

There was almost no wind, just about 4-8 knots from the W. We motored and ran the water-maker. The day was shiny with scattered clouds. I kept the engine RPM low enjoying my possibly last passage for the year. After clearing the N shore of Lipsi and heading SE I was able to open some of the headsail and motor-sail until we reached Aspronisi, after that we were back to motoring. I was not sure the lovely Archangelos anchorage would be sheltered and so I decided to go a little further to Alindas, Leros (Άλινδας, Λέρος) [37° 09.9' N 26° 50.3' E] where we arrived at 1210 after 13.3 nM. I anchored in 7.8 m depth and let out 55 m of chain.

It was calm here with a 5-10 knot SW breeze. I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was nicely caught. I took advantage of the 3G signal and called Alice on Skype.

In the afternoon I went ashore and walked along the beach. All the tavernas and restaurants appeared closed. The street was full of dried sea-weed which was washed ashore by the waves two nights ago. Back on Thetis I called my favorite Italian restaurant Guisi l’italiana to ask when they are opened. The number was out of service. I called the mobile number and Guisi answered. She had a bad year and closed her restaurant because of too high rent and too few customers. What a shame! She is trying to find a suitable venue either in Ayia Marina or in Lakki and hopes to open in the Spring.

I noticed that the S/Y Dionysos was now anchored on SW side of the bay. After an ouzo and as it was getting rather dark I noticed that the Mylos (+30 22470 24 894) taverna near Ayia Marina was lit and I decided to walk there. After an almost 30 minute walk I arrived and yes they were open. I had some fried calamari (squid) and then a wonderful fish soup.

After I walked back and boarded Thetis all was very quiet. The barometer now was up to 1008 mB.

Thursday October 21, 2010, Day 23

Alindas
The Bay of Alindas

It was very, very calm and I slept a lot. The barometer at 8 AM was up to 1013 mB. The forecasts now call for SW winds of force 3-4 through tonight and then in the early Friday morning veering north. Meteo (Athens Observatory) predicts for Leros 4-5 NW while EMY (National Greek Meteorological Service) 5-6 NE and increasing.

I went ashore and walked up the hill to Kamara where I bought fresh bread, fruits, etc. I decided to relocate Thetis to Archangelos today rather then tomorrow, as I was planning, with possible head winds.

We departed Alindas at 1120. I opened the genoa and first motor-sailed, then sailed reaching Blefoutis where I had to motor-sail again. The wind was 18-22 knots NE. We arrived in Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E] at 1230 after 5.9 nM. I anchored in 5 m depth over sand and let out 55 m of chain, Thetis settling at 7 m. I hope that this will take care of any wind change. There was some swell creeping around the island.

Shortly after our arrival the catamaran Pille-Palle which I had often seen at the Agmar Marine shipyard arrived and anchored not too far from Thetis. By ouzo time, around 6 PM, the barometer had risen to 1016 mB. This has too fast for my comfort. I spent the day swimming and reading. I finished Pirates of the Levant. It is a gripping story set in the 16th century, with Spanish galleys, Knights of Malta, Moorish pirates, etc. I started Belle Kanaris Maniates’ Penny of Top Hill Trail and continued reading Don Quixote De La Mancha.

For dinner I finished the pot-roast and rice, left over from Tuesday.

Friday October 22, 2010, Day 24

I slept reasonably well although I kept checking the depth meter expecting the forecasted change of wind. The change did happened around 2 AM. Thetis was comfortable having drifted to 5.2 m depth with the wind at 8-12 knots from the NNE.

As the day progressed the wind increased, still from the N and NE, to 15-25 knots. There were wavelets here but I could see a lot of whitecaps further out. The forecast now are issuing gale warning, but only call for NW winds of force 5 and possibly later 6 for Leros.

For lunch I made an omelet with a salad and fruits. I ran the genset for about one hour to recharge the batteries and also to consume rather then throw away the small amount of gasoline left in the canister. I also swam: the water was warm at 25.4°C (77.7°F), warmer then the ambient temperature which was 24°C (75.2°F). As a matter of curiosity I snorkeled to the anchor. It had not moved despite being set in hard sand and the wind having changed direction from the SW to the NE. This most likely is my last swim for the year.

At 1535 I raised the anchor and motored the 1.4 nM to Partheni where I caught one of Agmar’s moorings [37° 11.3' N 26° 48.03' E] at 1555. It was very choppy and the wind was from the NE at 18-25 knots.

The wind stayed from the NE despite the forecasts predicting a NW direction. The evening was much colder than the last few evenings. One other sailboat the S/Y Stockholm arrived and caught a mooring next to Thetis.

The night was very rocky. I spoke with Alice on Skype advising her that I am now in Partheni. For dinner I made tagliatelle with tuna, olives, and capers. I also opened a bottle of Sabbatiano white wine. Being close to the yard I turned off the wind-generator and slept very well in the relative quietness.

Saturday October 23, 2010, Day 25

This is Thetis’ haul-out day. It seems less windy than last night. The forecasts for Leros call for force 5 NW winds (but it is still from the NE) diminishing. There were no more gale warning.

By 9 there was a German ketch in the “pool.” I had not even seen her arrive but now she was being lifted by the travelift. While waiting I removed the genoa and lashed it on deck, thinking that this will be safer then unfurling it for removal while the boat is on the stands.

By 10:10 the travelift returned and hauled out the Swedish S/Y Stockholm, Thetis will be last. Taking advantage of this idle time I serviced for the winter the water-maker and filled it with the biocide solution.

Thetis was hauled-out at 1130 and slowly was moved to her resting place. The rental car that I had ordered arrived and now the work begins. In addition to the standard winterizing tasks I have to completely empty the boat for the repair of the cracks.

Nicholas, the travelift operator, whom I had contacted before about this, told me that he had made arrangement with Alekos, who had helped me before, to come and help me again. He will start tomorrow. That was a great relief.

In the afternoon I occupied myself with various tasks, and in the evening I went to dinner at the Mylos taverna.

Sunday October 24, 2010

Alekos did not show up as I was expecting. First thing in morning I lowered the mainsail but while doing so, to my great annoyance, I forgot to tie a figure 8 knot at the end of a reefing line and it came right through the boom. I washed the genoa and raised it on the Agmar mast to dry. I started packing so that I can empty Thetis for the crack repairs but I had no boxes to put the stuff in. I tried to re-run the reefing line through the boom but was not successful.

In the late afternoon after the genoa dried I took it down and, with the help of a friendly German cruiser, folded it and bagged it.

The S/Y Cresswell Jenny is here with Andrew and Karin. Taking advantage of the rented car, I drove them to Lakki where we had a nice dinner at the Petrino restaurant. They enjoyed it.

Monday October 25, 2010

First thing in morning I washed the mainsail and raised it on the Agmar mast to dry. Around 10 o'clock Alekos came. I told him to wash the fenders and soak in fresh water all the docking and mooring lines in the dinghy. While he was doing this I drove to Lakki where I got a number of cardboard boxes from the Spanos supermarket. I then went to the the Limenarchio (Greek Coast Guard). The official boat license, applied and paid dearly for in April, had not arrived yet. I am to continue using the disreputable hand written temporary one.

Back in Partheni I packed few boxes and using the car took them to the office. In the mean time, Alekos had washed the empty Diesel jerry cans. Later he helped me fold and bag the mainsail. He then took it to the office. Antonis (who handles all the odd jobs relating to customers) will move all the things we left there to the storage room.

In the evening I walked to the local restaurant across from the airport. There I met the couple from S/Y Stockholm and another couple from a British S/Y. We had a good time together.

Tuesday October 26, 2010

Alekos did not show up. Fortunately both sails are now washed and bagged and in the storage room. I borrowed from Panayiotis the electrician a cable guide (ατσαλίνα) and with it I easily re-rigged through the boom the errant reefing line. I washed the dinghy.

I had my last dinner in Thetis. I grilled the remaining potatoes from Kalami and ate them along two cutlets that I had bought in the supermarket.

Wednesday October 27, 2010

I continued packing. No sign of Alekos. Andrew and Karin helped transport the items to the storage room and I packed them there into large cardboard boxes.

For dinner I was invited in S/Y Cresswell Jenny.

Thursday October 28, 2010

Today is a national holiday. Nicholas had promised that he will come and help me but he did not show up. Andrew and Karin helped, like yesterday. I am not sure how I could had managed without them.

I took a bottle of ouzo and the left-over snacks to S/Y Cresswell Jenny where we after a drink I drove Andrew and Karin to Lakki where we joined at the Petrino Mare and Marie-Alix Pineau of the French S/Y Varuna. We also met there Havre and Claude Valentin of S/Y Dionysos who were going later in the night to take the ferry to Piraeus.

Friday October 29, 2010

Continued packing and moving stuff to the storage room. Finished washing and covered the dinghy. Packed most of the kitchen and left the boxes in the left cabin.

I moved to the Merilen Hotel since sleeping in Thetis now with everything removed was impossible.

Had an ouzo in S/Y Cresswell Jenny and Karin insisted that I stay and eat with them.

Saturday October 30, 2010

Packed the rest of the kitchen and bathroom stuff. Not much left to do.

I paid the Merilen Hotel (70 € for 2 nights) because I was planning to depart early in the morning.

In the evening I invited Andrew and Karin to the Mylos taverna where we had a wonderful seafood meal.

Sunday October 31, 2010

The reef in Blefoutis
The reef in Blefoutis

Because the time changed from daylight saving to standard time I woke up fairly early. I packed the car and first drove to Blefoutis and took some photographs of the reef where Thetis had ran aground in 2007. This is most likely the cause of the cracks on her ribs that necessitated the need for the repairs and her emptying. After that I drove to the yard.

I completed packing the kitchen stuff and all the clothes to be left in Partheni. I packed my traveling bags and checked in for tomorrow’s British Airways flight to Washington, D.C. and printed my boarding passes.

I took the 11 flight to Athens.

2010 Vital Statistics
Total Distance 897 nM
Time at Sea 94 days
Total Time Underway 170 hr
Total Solo Time 85 hr
Total Engine Time 198 hr
Total Fuel Consumed 325 L
Total Water Consumed 2088 L